To say anticipation has surrounded Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is the understatement of the century. The acclaimed franchise takes the gaming world by storm with each and nintendo switch review every entry, and this latest iteration aims to top its predecessors. ” – Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s battle cry bellows, rallying its scopious cast under one roof. From Mario to Mewtwo, Snake to Sonic, and Bayonetta to Bowser Jr. – Super Smash Bros. Ultimate dons all seventy-plus old and new characters, hence the ‘ultimate’ bit of its name. So is it the best in class, or a hodgepodge of quantity over quality? Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a fighting fiesta of Nintendo’s all-stars, mingled with some guests for good measure (on that note, Joker from Persona 5 is on his way as DLC? How crazy-cool is that?!). Fighting is fast, weighty, and responsive, and smash attacks being hold-able for longer is a welcome alteration. Newcomers like Inkling and Ridley fit flawlessly, and the breadth of stages is satisfyingly staggering (over one hundred!). And speaking of stages, the new Stage Morph feature is a highlight, changing from one stage to another mid-battle. There is a lot to sink one’s teeth into, so kicking back with friends for some multiplayer won’t get boring. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate’s beating heart is its fighting. Unfortunately, get ready to tell those friends “Hang on, let me sort these rules out”. Super Smash Bros. Ultimate makes drastic changes to menu mechanics, sacrificing simplicity in favor of clunky complexity. Rather than tweaking rules on the nintendo switch price fly from the character selection screen, rulesets must be pre-customized and saved in advance. It’s convoluted, and results in something as straightforward as adding another stock being tedious.
You can get lucky–I would regularly enjoy sessions filled with smooth matches–but regardless, laggy matches aren’t exactly a rare occurrence. It’s also worth noting that you’re required to have a paid subscription to Nintendo’s Switch Online service to be able to play online at all, so the sub-optimal performance of the mode is disappointing. Network performance aside, Ultimate’s online mode does have an interesting way to cater to the large variety of ways to play Smash Bros. You can create public or private arenas for friends and strangers, which serve as personal rooms to dictate specific rulesets, but the primary mode is Quick Play, where you’re matched against people of a similar skill level to you. Quick Play features an option where you can set your preferred ruleset–things like the number of players, item availability, win conditions–and it will try to match you up with someone with similar preferences. However, Ultimate also prioritizes getting you into a match in under a minute, which is great, but sometimes means that you might find yourself playing a completely different style of match. An inconsistent online mode and situational downers don’t stop Super Smash Bros. Ultimate from shining as a flexible multiplayer game that can be as freewheeling or as firm as you want it to be. Its entertaining single-player content helps keep the game rich with interesting things to do, as well as bolstering its spirit of loving homage to the games that have graced Nintendo consoles. Ultimate’s diverse content is compelling, its strong mechanics are refined, and the encompassing collection is simply superb.
This is, arguably, Smash’s weakest area. The matches themselves are varied, including conditions that could involve the floor being made out of lava or fighting an incredibly large version of a character like Bowser or Mr Game & Watch. However, to get far in this you need to assign spirits for each fight, tweaking them for each fight. The roster could also be another point of potential contention. While there are 71 characters at launch, opening the game for the first time presents you with just eight straight off the bat. The remaining 63 unlock through standard play and simply require you to play the game. Characters even unlock after multiplayer matches. I think it’s a nice system, and the buzz you get from unlocking a fan-favourite is real. There is a caveat, however. To unlock a character you have to beat them in a one-on-one fight, which means the Luigi I’ve been trying to best again and again for the last two weeks is still tantalisingly out of reach. Samus’s long-time nemesis makes his Smash Bros debut and is one of the 63 characters you’ll get to unlock.
Super Smash Bros. Ultimate for Nintendo Switch is equal parts greatness and lacking. It triumphs in Nintendo’s strengths and revels in their weaknesses. It has more engaging content than any Smash game before it, while also being at odds with itself in the best way to deliver said content to the player. In true Nintendo fashion, they do it their way and it works about as often as it doesn’t. At its core, Super Smash Bros. Ultimate is a party game. A game that you can sit on the couch and play with friends with easy to pick up fighting gameplay that also requires some platforming acumen. Ultimate is a nostalgic trip down memory lane with an insane roster of characters on a bevy of classic stages, with some of the best visuals and sounds that we’ve seen from any game on a Nintendo platform. It’s supposed to be the Ultimate Smash experience after all, everyone is here.
- By NoemiFereday
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